The Matryomin

matromyn
The Matryomin is a theremin-like electronic instrument encased (for reasons unknown) in a wooden Russian doll. From the description of the Matryomin on inventor and theremin player Masami Takeuchi‘s website:

Matryomin is the unique, original erectronic musical instrument invented by Masami Takeuchi in 1999. It is a type of theremin – oldest electro-musical instrument invented in Russia – shaped Russian traditional wooden doll, Matrioshka. It hold form of Matrioshka perfectly, moreover, performing five octaves range. The distance of 1 octave at Low-Middle range is equal to Etherwavetheremin of Moog Music Inc. If you have acquired the basic technique to play theremin by Etherwavetheremin, you can enjoy playing Matryomin by same way. Matryomin is only pitch controlled theremin. Mandarin Electron, a company directed by Masami Takeuchi, started manufacturing Matryomin on a commercial basis in 2003. Now, Matryomin is going on 2nd generation model. Selled over 1,600 till now in Japan. (mandarinelectron.com)

via Infocult

Spooky Action Heroes

Physicists at the University of Geneva achieved the weird result by creating a pair of ‘entangled’ photons, separating them, then sending them down a fibre optic cable to the Swiss villages of Satigny and Jussy, some 18 kilometres apart.

The researchers found that when each photon reached its destination, it could instantly sense its twin’s behaviour without any direct communication. The finding does not violate the laws of quantum mechanics, the theory that physicists use to describe the behaviour of very small systems. Rather, it shows just how quantum mechanics can defy everyday expectation, says Nicolas Gisin, the researcher who led the study. “Our experiment just puts the finger where it hurts,” he says. (nature.com)

The Antikythera Mechanism and the Olympics

anti-mech

Researchers have finally figured out (some of) what the mysterious Antikythera Mechanism does. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in The Lost Ring

The world’s first known scientific instrument plotted the positions of celestial bodies nineteen years into the future — and as an added bonus, it kept track of upcoming Olympics.

"The maker took information about astronomical theories, and made a machine that could predict the future," said Tony Freeth, co-author of a study to be published in Nature this week. "And it would tell you, as a bit of an add-on, what Olympic games would be in progress at the time."

A dictionary-size assemblage of 37 interlocking dials crafted with the precision and complexity of a 19th century Swiss clock, the machine was recovered in 1900 from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Scientists dated it to 150 BC. (wired)